3 Iranian nationals charged in thwarted cyberattack on Boston Children's Hospital

The U.S. government has charged three Iranian nationals with a scheme to commit ransomware attacks on healthcare facilities and other organizations, including a thwarted attack on Boston Children's Hospital, the Justice Department said Sept. 14.

Mansour Ahmadi, 34; Ahmad Khatibi Aghda, 45; and Amir Hossein Nickaein Ravari, 30, are alleged to have gained unauthorized access to the computer systems of hundreds of victims in countries such as the U.S., U.K., Israel and Iran over nearly two years, denying access to the networks unless ransom payments were made, according to the indictment.

They were allegedly involved in a thwarted 2021 attack on Boston Children's Hospital, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a video statement.

"No form of cyberattack is acceptable, but ransomware attacks that target critical infrastructure services, such as healthcare facilities and government agencies, are a threat to our national security," U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger, of the District of New Jersey, said in an agency news release. "Hackers like these defendants go to great lengths to keep their identities secret, but there is always a digital trail. And we will find it."

Mr. Ahmadi, Mr. Khatibi and Mr. Nickaein, all residents of Iran, are each charged with one count of conspiring to commit computer fraud and related activity in connection with computers; one count of intentionally damaging a protected computer; and one count of transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer. Mr. Ahmadi is charged with an additional count of intentionally damaging a protected computer. All three men remain at large abroad.

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